One question I get a lot when I meet with small business owners in the Twin Cities is this: Why do I need to spend more money on business-grade hardware? It’s a common question that doesn’t always have a common answer.
Because the answer is not clear, we wanted to put together a quick list why small businesses should consider investing in business-grade hardware for their IT needs.
NOTE: I use the word investing intentionally. IT management, support, and hardware should be considered an investment. In today’s world, if you are not investing in technology to help grow your business, your competition is… and they will grow faster than you. Technology should be an investment, not an expense.
Here are seven reasons why we require our clients to purchase business-grade hardware and why we recommend all small business owners consider doing the same:
1. Built to last
Simply, business-grade hardware lasts longer. Whether it’s a server, firewall, or workstation, business-grade hardware is built to withstand the abuse of daily usage. They are built with better quality and in most cases with extra protection against spills, drops, etc. (*Accidental Damage Protection warranties are extra). As an HP partner, we also like to point out that all HP business laptops pass the MIL-STD-810G testing, which means they will be more durable for those that use their computer on a regular basis.
2. Better Components
Not all components are created equal! Not every “dual core i5” is going to be as powerful or last as long. Consumer-grade hardware will always have cheaper components that simply cannot handle the heavy use a business user would put it through. The hardware we recommend to our clients and other small business owners comes with the highest quality components, at affordable prices, from vendors with the highest level of testing and certifications.
3. Replaceable Components
Business-grade hardware is built with components that can be upgraded or replaced easily, saving a lot of time and money trying to find compatible parts and figuring out how to replace them. The sad thing is not all business-grade hardware manufacturers have the same standards. That is why, for PCs, we choose HP. HP has strict standards with their components, and when under warranty, we can usually get a replacement shipped to us overnight.
4. Less Junk, More Power
Consumer-grade computers come loaded with a lot of what we call “Crap-Ware” – applications, software, plugins, and tools that are completely unnecessary, and sometimes can even cause performance issues. On the other hand, HP’s Business computers come loaded with powerful applications and software that keep it running powerful, smooth, and efficient.
Most business-grade computers come with a very high standard set of security features, including biometric security on many mobile devices, and encrypted drives. If your organization falls under any compliance requirements – such as HIPAA, PCI, ITAR, ISO, or others – this reason alone requires you to purchase business-class hardware, because many times a consumer-grade piece of equipment won’t even have the capability of the security requirements you have.
With our fully managed IT clients, it’s imperative that we are able to monitor and manage the computers that we service. Consumer-grade equipment is simply not as easy for us to manage and troubleshoot issues. This ultimately causes more issues to occur, and can take us longer to fix them due to standards not being followed. When we are working on a GURU-standard HP machine with our clients, we can be more efficient and productive, getting you back to your job a lot quicker. Be sure to check with your Managed IT Provider to ensure their standards enable them to manage your hardware effectively and efficiently.
7. Setup & configuration
With the lack of quality components and security, and the addition of Crap-Ware, many consumer PCs will take longer to set up and configure to proper business IT management standards. This isn’t a computer that is going to sit in your home office and be used 2-3 times per week. This is a computer that will need to talk with other computers, download and run line of business applications, and provide specific and intentional security and productivity enhancements. It ultimately takes more time to get a consumer-grade computer to the same standards as business-grade hardware… if it’s possible at all.
At the end of the day, investing in business-grade hardware will save you more time, money, and stress. We expect it from all of our Managed Services clients, and we highly recommend it to other small business owners in the Twin Cities area. Give us a call if you have questions about the integrity of your IT systems.